The train derailment in East Palestine, OH on February 3 resulted in lasting impacts to residents, many still unknown. While environmental agencies are assessing the long term impacts to the water and soil, residents living closest to the site are drinking bottled water as precautionary measures.
The Westmoreland Food Bank was informed of the need for bottled water through the coordinated efforts of two food bank state associations—the Ohio Association of Food Banks and Feeding Pennsylvania.
Kevin Povich, Westmoreland Food Bank Director of Operations, immediately reached out to local retail grocery supplier, UNFI, Inc. in New Stanton and they generously donated a trailer load of water to be delivered to the Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley, which covers three counties, including Columbiana County, where the train derailment occurred. “UNFI is committed to supporting East Palestine residents as they tirelessly work to recover from the impact of the recent train wreck. We are thankful for our deep relationship with the Westmoreland Food Bank and appreciate their assistance in seeing that this donation goes to help the people who need it most,” said Jeff Sault, UNFI senior vice president of operations.
The Westmoreland Food Bank picked up the water from UNFI, Inc. in New Stanton and delivered the 19 pallets of water to Second Harvest of the Mahoning Valley located in Youngstown, OH on February 22. Second Harvest of the Mahoning Valley will handle the distribution of the water to the communities in need.
“The Westmoreland Food Bank is proud of our partnership with UNFI and how we are able to work together to provide relief to the residents of East Palestine. UNFI is dedicated to helping our Westmoreland neighbors year round and when our sister food bank asked for help, UNFI was our first call.” stated Jennifer Miller, Westmoreland Food Bank CEO.
Photos courtesy of UNFI and Westmoreland Food Bank